Friday, January 08, 2016

Book Beginnings: Lilies That Fester

Or, by its American title, Mrs. Malory and the Lilies That Fester, by Hazel Holt (first published by Macmillan, 2000).
Signet paperback edition, 2001
This is the book's opening passage:
'Are you sure you don't mind?' Rosemary asked.
'No, of course not,' I said.
'Only I've got this wretched cold and even if I felt well enough to go myself I wouldn't want to give it to her.'
'No, really, it's fine.'
'And Jilly and Roger are away and Jack has this meeting of the CPRE...'
'Rosemary,' I said, 'it's all right. I don't mind in the least. I was going myself anyway.'
My Thoughts:

I know some of you are thinking "BOR-ING!" But when I read that, I just think: Another Mrs. Malory mystery. I love it.

I've read almost the whole series now (21 books, this is number 11), but somehow managed to overlook this one even though it comes right in the middle. And this opening bit is so typically Sheila Malory, with many of the things I've come to love about the books -- the first-person narration, the chatty relationship between Sheila and her oldest friend Rosemary, and the way Sheila is always volunteering to take on good deeds at the drop of a hat. Those good deeds usually lead to a murder, of course...but then, there wouldn't be a book if they didn't.

I've loved all the Sheila Malory books, and as their author Hazel Holt died this past November, I decided to choose one of the series as my first read of the year. Also hoping to finish up the series this year -- I only have a few more to read. So I'm really looking forward to this one.

Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


  1. Oh, I love a book with characters who are chatty, and their conversations always pull me right into the story. Love that cover, too. I haven't read any of these books, but now I must. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

  2. Hi Joy,

    Definitely not boring to me :)

    These words, the synopsis of the book and the concept of the entire series, remind me very much of the Agatha Christie style of writing, as she penned her 'Miss Marple' series.

    The only thing which might be a little off-putting, is the length of the series, although I am assuming that these books can all be read as stand alone stories?

    I am adding the first book of the series to my list, so that I can get the true flavour of the characters. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your weekend :)


  3. I love books that depict longtime friendships, especially if the characters are chatty. So much can be revealed in dialogue!
    My Friday post features THE TIME IN BETWEEN.

  4. Lol, you read my mind. It feels like a whole lot happened before that we're not privy of. But I just read that this is book 11 in the that might be it :P

    Our BB

  5. Doesn't sound boring to me either. Sounds like a book to add to my TBR. How are you enjoying it?


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